Twitter: GeoffShac
  • The 1997 Masters: My Story
    The 1997 Masters: My Story
    by Tiger Woods
  • The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    by John Feinstein
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Sports Media Group
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Sleeping Bear Press
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford

A golf course that invades a hundred or more acres, and is actually visible in its garish intrusion from several points of observation, is an abhorrent spectacle. The less of man’s handiwork the better a course. PERRY MAXWELL

  

Thursday
Sep272012

Sign The Kumbaya Cup Is Putting A Heavy Strain On Media: Scribe Questions Whether U.S. Playing Too Much Ping Pong!

This Tweet by Brian Hewitt, retweeted by the Global Golf Post digital publication he also edits, would suggest a form of media credulity brought on by too many days of pre-Ryder Cup hype and not enough genuine controversy. P.S., it's table tennis.

Thursday
Sep272012

"I can't see how it suits one team or the other."

John Huggan reviews the light-on-rough Medinah conditioning and setup. Every player sounds enthused about the shotmaking potential created by not confining landing areas and green complexes with excessive rough, including Lee Westwood, who made this observation about who the setup might favor:

"I've played over here pretty much all year and I haven't seen a course that's got no rough and no rough around the greens," pointed out world No. 4 Lee Westwood. "So this isn't a course that either team is particularly used to. I can't see how it suits one team or the other. I reckon the last time I played a course that had been set up like this was The Belfry in 2002 -- and we set that up for ourselves."

Thursday
Sep272012

Gala Dinner: Alan Shipnuck's Red Carpet Report

Alan Shipnuck braved the Ryder Cup gala dinner and was pleasantly surprised by Justin Timberlake's hosting effort and the overall decency of the evening.

The best look was definitely Dustin Johnson’s faux-hawk, if you don’t count the perpetual bedhead of Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker. The wives were free to pick their own gowns and they looked stunning. Bonus points to Kim (Mrs. Zach) Johnson for rocking blue satin while very pregnant. I would strongly encourage male readers to Google pictures of Amanda (Mrs. Jason) Dufner, Diane (Mrs. Luke) Donald, and Amanda Caulder, Dustin Johnson’s special friend. Jason Dufner looks increasingly like Alfred E. Newman; I tweeted from the red carpet about him being "overmarried" and before the night was out he replied, "Why would u ever under marry...DUH!!!"

This was also a fun image...

The players were then sequestered backstage and I returned to my seat to catch the musical stylings of Chicago, the classic rock group comprised of guys who are as leathery as Amy Mickelson’s dress. The set went on for an excruciatingly long time, but everyone else seemed to love it. I even peeped PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem boogeying in his seat, lip-synching a few lyrics. Which explains a lot, I think.

Golf.com has a 31 page gallery from the red carpet, including a shot of what Shipnuck called the hardest working button in golf: the one on Darren Clarke's dinner jacket.

Thursday
Sep272012

Viewer Discretion Advised: Ryder Cup Opening Ceremony Must Go On At 4 CT

Yes the 4 pm Central start means East Coasters can get home just in time for the Captains speeches while Pacific Time zone fans will just have to DVR Golf Channel's live telecast (you can also watch at RyderCup.com or on the Ryder Cup app).

However, The Guardian's Scott Murray reminds us, the ceremonies have been the source of some fantastic moments.

In 2004, the freewheelin' Hal Sutton went one better, forgetting how many children he had. Having thanked his fourth wife Ashley for providing him with three kids, Halimony was forced to quickly backtrack as Mrs Sutton held up four fingers as a prompt. That she didn't configure those fingers in two groups of two is to her credit. Sutton, clearly not at the races, spent the rest of the week gadding about in an outsized cowboy hat, and pairing Tiger Woods with Phil Mickelson. The US were thrashed.

But perhaps Nick Faldo's efforts in 2008 did the most to give the opposing team a boost. He referred to Soren Hansen as Soren Stenson, suggested Padraig Harrington had hit more practice shots than there are potatoes in Ireland, and told Graeme McDowell it made little difference whether he came from Northern Ireland or the Republic.

Wednesday
Sep262012

Davis Chokes Up On Wednesday; Historians Believe It May Be Earliest Tear-Shedding In Ryder Cup Captaincy History

This has to be a new record, no?

Richard Williams in The Guardian on how the Ryder Cup does strange things to people.

Yesterday Davis Love III, a man seemingly imperturbable with a golf club in his hand, teared up – as they say in these parts – while answering a perfectly mundane question about Phil Mickelson's role in the United States team.

An unbylined ESPN.co.uk story on Wednesday's show of emotion by Captain Davis Love.

"I love being around them," Love said on Wednesday, struggling to get his words out.

He then spoke of his team's group viewing of Ryder Cup highlights on Tuesday, which prompted yet another moving response. Both Love and Bubba Watson were reduced to tears, the captain revealed.

"Bubba and I are going to cry a lot," Love said. "It's intense. Do we want to pummel them? Yes we do. We want to win.

He also predicted an inevitable row with European Captain Olazabal over something meaningful, like cart traffic over bridges.

"You know what, Ollie (Jose Maria Olazabal) and I will go toe-to-toe at some point because it's intense. It'll be about carts going over a bridge or he has more carts than me or something.

Now we're talking! This is the Ryder Cup we love: petty grievances over testosterone fueled, first-world feuds. Let the games begin!

Wednesday
Sep262012

Medinah's Driveable 15th Isn't Sounding Very Driveable

I know it's hard to believe that an architect who specializes in stripping strategy from architecture was not able to design a fun, sexy, tempting and interesting short par-4. But after today's remarks from Phil Mickelson, arguably the most aggressive player in the Ryder Cup who isn't the least bit tempted to go for the green, it sounds like Rees Jones came through again!

First, Cameron Morfit tries to figure out if it's wise for the U.S. team to drive the short par-4 15th, looking back at Celtic Manor's short par-4 15th for guidance. He also has a guide from Rees where there is a lot of description of risk and not much mention of reward.

CHUTE TO THRILL: The opening to the green is 20 yards wide, but it plays more like 12 yards. "Anything on the left side of it falls off into the bunker," Jones says.

HERE'S THE SKINNY: Even the cautious play from the tee is no gimme. "If they play it safe—2-iron, wedge—it's the narrowest landing area on the course," Jones says.

And Phil in today's presser:

PHIL MICKELSON:  My take on the 15th hole is that it's a reachable par‑4, but it's not really drivable.  I think most guys are going to lay up.  I just think it's over done as a hole that would try to entice you to drive it, unlike, say, the 10th at Riviera, which really entice is you and gives you options.

I think that it's an easy birdie laying up, and as disappointing as the fans are going to be to see that, we have to play what's there in front of us and try to shoot the lowest score, and the lowest score will be shot by laying up.

Wednesday
Sep262012

U.S. Team Room Up To Three Ping Pong Tables, Foosball And All 51 Volumes Of The Charles Dickens Collection

Rex Hoggard got a peek in the U.S. Ryder Cup team room and no, there's no Dickens Collection for the more cerebral team members.

The table tennis theme, now a Ryder Cup tradition with Matt Kuchar regularly dispatching all comers, has now expanded to three tables and a limitless supply of ping pong balls and paddles, although many American team members now travel with their own paddles.

“If we have an injury this week it will probably be from someone steping on a ping pong ball,” U.S. captain Davis Love III said on Tuesday.

The team room also features a cornhole, or bean bag toss, game and foosball table.

A cornhole?

Wednesday
Sep262012

Asst. Captain Verplank's Cart Driving Skills Called Into Question After Near Miss

Dave Shedloski with details of the near miss for driver Scott Verplank and passenger Steve Stricker.

This is why I've been calling for years to have these Assistant Captains--who spend the rest of the year walking with a caddie--properly trained in the art and science of driving a four-seat cart.

Stricker was riding in a golf cart driven by U.S. assistant captain Scott Verplank that got slightly out of control as Verplank tried to navigate a steep slope near the 17th green at Medinah CC Wednesday afternoon. Verplank drove cautiously down the bank, but the cart began to slide sideways in the wet grass. Rather than risk injury should the cart overturn, Stricker jumped out of the passenger seat and ran down the hill.

Wednesday
Sep262012

Ryder Cup Teams Off The Tee And On Paper: Evenly Matched

This means absolutely nothing, yet MyGolfSpy's statistical charts of the two Ryder Cup teams in 2012 tournament play are utterly fascinating in how evenly matched they appear. Especially in the much-talked-about driving distance category where the US edges Europe 293.4 to 292.7, while in driving accuracy it's 63.13% to 63.20%.

Wednesday
Sep262012

Video: Jack's Speech For Mitt

Wednesday
Sep262012

R.I.P. Andy Williams

The legendary crooner hosted the PGA Tour's San Diego stop 21 times under various tournament names including the Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational, the Wickes-Andy Williams San Diego Open, the Isuzu-Andy Williams San Diego Open, the Shearson Lehman Brothers Andy Williams Open and of course most memorably of all, the Shearson Lehman Hutton Andy Williams Open.

The Kansas City Star has a nice photo gallery of Williams, including this shot with Tom Watson.


Wednesday
Sep262012

Where's Marty Hackel When You Need Him Files: Europe's Wednesday Ryder Cup Shirt

Wednesday's Team Europe shirt designed to "#winthecrowd" according to Graeme McDowell. Paging Marty Hackel.